Where to Paddleboard in Connecticut: Exploring Lakes, Ocean, Rivers, and White Water.

Connecticut, with its diverse landscapes and picturesque waterways, offers paddle boarding enthusiasts a wide range of exciting locations to explore. Whether you prefer serene lakes, the vastness of the ocean, meandering rivers, or the thrill of white water, Connecticut has something to offer for every paddle boarding preference. In this article, we will delve into the captivating details of each location, highlighting the unique features and attractions that make them ideal paddle boarding spots in Connecticut. Let's check out where to paddle board in Connecticut!

Key Highlights

  1. Comprehensive Destination Guide: Detailed reviews of Connecticut's prime paddle boarding locations, including Candlewood Lake, Bantam Lake, Lake Zoar, Long Island Sound, and more, showcasing the variety and beauty of the state's water bodies.

  2. Seasonal Paddling Tips: Insights into the best times of year to visit each paddle boarding spot, taking into account weather conditions, water temperatures, and scenic highlights to ensure the best experience.

  3. Safety and Gear Recommendations: Essential advice on the right equipment for different Connecticut paddle boarding locales, emphasizing safety gear, suitable boards for beginners versus advanced paddlers, and must-have accessories.

  4. Local Regulations and Access Points: A rundown of access points for each highlighted location, along with any local regulations or necessary permits, ensuring paddlers are well-informed and respectful of the environment.

  5. Interactive FAQs Section: An engaging FAQs section addressing common queries about paddle boarding in Connecticut, from suitability for beginners and pet-friendly spots to winter paddling possibilities and age considerations.


1. Candlewood Lake.

Located in western Connecticut, Candlewood Lake is the largest lake in the state, spanning approximately 8,500 acres. Paddle boarding on Candlewood Lake offers a truly immersive experience with its expansive size and serene surroundings. As you glide through the calm waters, you'll be treated to breathtaking views of wooded hillsides, tranquil coves, and the occasional waterfront property. The lake's secluded bays and inlets provide ample opportunities for exploration, allowing you to discover hidden gems along the shoreline. Candlewood Lake is a perfect place for a day trip or a leisurely paddle with friends and family.

2. Bantam Lake.

Situated in Litchfield County, Bantam Lake is another popular destination for paddle boarding in Connecticut. As the largest natural lake in the state, Bantam Lake offers paddlers a peaceful escape surrounded by natural beauty. With its crystal-clear waters and picturesque landscape, you'll find yourself immersed in a serene atmosphere. Paddle boarding on Bantam Lake allows you to enjoy the tranquility of the surroundings while taking in the stunning views of rolling hills and lush greenery. Don't forget to bring your camera, as Bantam Lake provides ample opportunities for capturing postcard-worthy moments.

3. Lake Zoar.

Lake Zoar, nestled in the Housatonic River Valley, offers paddle boarding enthusiasts a unique blend of natural beauty and recreational opportunities. The lake stretches across 975 acres and provides paddlers with calm waters perfect for exploring. As you glide along, you'll be surrounded by a picturesque landscape of tree-lined shores, rocky outcrops, and lush forests. Lake Zoar is an excellent location for both beginners and experienced paddlers, offering a peaceful retreat to reconnect with nature.


1. Long Island Sound.

Connecticut's shoreline along Long Island Sound is a paradise for ocean-loving paddleboarders. With its vast expanse of sparkling blue waters, Long Island Sound provides an incredible backdrop for paddle boarding adventures. Whether you choose to explore the coastline near Stamford, Greenwich, or Mystic, you'll be treated to stunning vistas and the sound of waves gently crashing against the shore. Paddle boarding along Long Island Sound offers a chance to witness diverse marine life, including playful seals, graceful birds, and the occasional glimpse of a passing sailboat. It's the perfect way to immerse yourself in the beauty of the ocean and enjoy a refreshing coastal breeze.

2. Hammonasset Beach State Park.

Located in Madison, Hammonasset Beach State Park is a gem along Connecticut's shoreline. With over two miles of sandy beach, it offers ample space for paddle boarding enthusiasts to launch their boards into the ocean. As you paddle along the coast, you'll be captivated by the rhythmic sound of crashing waves and the expansive views of the Atlantic Ocean. Hammonasset Beach State Park is also known for its diverse wildlife, including shorebirds and various marine species. Paddle boarding here provides a unique opportunity to experience the beauty of nature and the power of the ocean.


1. Farmington River.

Flowing through the northwest corner of Connecticut, the Farmington River offers paddleboarders a scenic and adventurous experience. With its gentle currents and picturesque surroundings, the Farmington River is ideal for leisurely paddling and immersing yourself in nature. As you glide along the river, you'll be surrounded by lush greenery, towering trees, and occasionally catch a glimpse of wildlife along the riverbanks. The Farmington River is also known for its fly fishing opportunities, so don't be surprised if you see anglers casting their lines as you paddle by.

2. Housatonic River:

The Housatonic River, stretching over 149 miles from Massachusetts to Long Island Sound, is a prime location for paddle boarding in Connecticut. Paddling along the Housatonic River allows you to embrace the tranquility of the water while marveling at the scenic landscapes that unfold before you. The river meanders through charming towns, historic covered bridges, and lush valleys, providing a captivating backdrop for your paddle boarding adventure. Keep an eye out for herons, ducks, and other wildlife that call the Housatonic River home.

3. Mystic River.

The Mystic River offers a unique paddle boarding experience as it winds through the charming town of Mystic. Paddle boarding on the Mystic River allows you to immerse yourself in the town's rich maritime history while enjoying the scenic beauty of the waterway. As you paddle along, you'll pass by historic buildings, bustling marinas, and charming waterfront homes. The Mystic River is also home to the famous Mystic Seaport, a living history museum that celebrates Connecticut's maritime heritage. Exploring the Mystic River on a paddleboard is a perfect way to combine adventure with a touch of nostalgia.

4. Branford River.

Located in the coastal town of Branford, the Branford River offers a picturesque paddle boarding experience. As you paddle along the river, you'll be surrounded by serene marshes, waterfront homes, and abundant wildlife. The Branford River is known for its tranquility, making it an excellent choice for beginners or those seeking a peaceful paddle boarding excursion. The river winds through the heart of Branford, allowing paddlers to experience the town's charming atmosphere while enjoying the beauty of nature.

5. Indian River.

The Indian River, located in Clinton, Connecticut, is a hidden gem for paddle boarding enthusiasts. Paddle boarding on the Indian River allows you to immerse yourself in a serene and picturesque environment. As you navigate through the calm waters, you'll be surrounded by lush vegetation, marshlands, and the occasional sighting of herons and other coastal birds. The Indian River offers a peaceful and scenic paddle boarding experience, allowing you to connect with nature and enjoy the tranquility of the surroundings.


1. Nepaug River.

inflatable paddle board whitewater demands the Glide O2 Lochsa the only whitewater sup you will ever want!

For paddle boarding enthusiasts seeking an adrenaline rush and a thrilling white water experience, the Nepaug River in Connecticut is a must-visit destination. This picturesque river offers an exhilarating adventure for those looking to challenge themselves on the rapids. The Nepaug River boasts Class I and II rapids, and is the perfect spot to show off the Glide O2 Lochsa whitewater paddle board!

2. Eightmile River.

Another exceptional white water paddle boarding destination in Connecticut is the Eightmile River. Nestled amidst captivating landscapes, this river offers both scenic beauty and thrilling opportunities for adventure.

Mystic Seaport.

As mentioned earlier, the Mystic River is also home to the famous Mystic Seaport, a living history museum that celebrates Connecticut's maritime heritage. Paddle boarding near the Mystic Seaport allows you to explore the river's captivating beauty while being immersed in the rich maritime history of the area. As you paddle along the Mystic River, you'll pass by historic ships, recreated 19th-century seafaring village, and charming waterfront buildings. Paddle boarding near the Mystic Seaport offers a unique blend of adventure and cultural immersion.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

  1. Is paddle boarding suitable for beginners?

    • Yes, paddle boarding is a beginner-friendly activity. With a bit of practice, most people can quickly learn the basic techniques and enjoy paddle boarding.

  2. Are life jackets necessary for paddle boarding?

    • Yes, it's important to wear a life jacket or personal flotation device (PFD) while paddle boarding for safety, especially for beginners or when paddling in unfamiliar waters.

  3. Can I paddleboard in Connecticut during the winter months?

    • Paddle boarding in Connecticut is more popular during the warmer months. However, some avid paddleboarders may choose to participate in cold-weather paddling activities with proper gear and precautions.

  4. Are there any age restrictions for paddle boarding in Connecticut?

    • There are no specific age restrictions for paddle boarding in Connecticut. However, children should always be supervised, and it's important to consider their swimming abilities and comfort level in the water.

  5. Can I bring my dog paddle boarding with me in Connecticut?

    • Some locations in Connecticut may allow dogs on paddleboards. However, it's important to check the specific rules and regulations of each area and ensure the safety and comfort of your pet.


Connecticut's diverse landscapes and waterways provide paddle boarding enthusiasts with a wide array of captivating locations to explore. From serene lakes to the vastness of the ocean, meandering rivers to the thrill of white water, Connecticut offers something for everyone's paddle boarding preferences. Whether you seek tranquility, breathtaking views, or an adrenaline rush, these paddle boarding spots in Connecticut will satisfy your cravings for adventure and natural beauty. So grab your paddleboard, immerse yourself in the pristine waters, and embark on an unforgettable paddle boarding journey through the enchanting state of Connecticut.